China reports no cases of Ebola








ZHURIHE, Inner Mongolia

>>  China’s drone blasts off missile in SCO anti-terror drill

By Wang Di

China’s military drones participated in the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) anti-terror drills in Inner Mongolia for the first time on Tuesday.

Participating in the live fire drills, the drone, who’s model was unidentified, shot off several missiles during the rehearsal, said Shen Jinke, spokesman of China Air force.

“The drone, tasked with surveillance, reconnaissance and ground attacks, will play a vital role in fighting against terrorism,” he said.

The aerial vehicle has yet to miss a shot since joining the “Peace Mission 2014″ multinational drill which began on Aug. 24, said Feng Aiwang, commander of the air force battle group.

More than 19 different models made up a group of 70 aircraft dispatched for the drill. These included fighter planes, early warning aircraft and armed helicopters, Feng added.

China’s homemade WZ-10 and WZ-19 armed helicopters were deployed to practice reconnaissance and rocket barrage tests in the exercise, which concludes Friday.

A total of 7,000 troops from China, Russia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan have participated in the drill, including ground and air forces, special operations and airborne troops as well as several supporting roles.

Founded in Shanghai in 2001, the SCO includes China, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan. Afghanistan, India, Iran, Mongolia and Pakistan are observers. Belarus, Turkey and Sri Lanka are dialogue partners.








>>  China publishes video series on anti-Japanese war

By Li Huizi

The State Archives Administration has published a video series on the War of Resistance Against Japanese Aggression to depict historical events and honor the Chinese fighting spirit.

The first part of the series on the July 7 Incident in 1937 was released on Monday by the administration’s official website.

The July 7 Incident marked the beginning of China’s eight-year War of Resistance Against Japanese Aggression when Lugou Bridge, known as Marco Polo Bridge to Western people and a crucial access point to Beijing, was attacked by Japanese troops.

The video clips depict the night of July 7, 1937, when Japanese troops carried out so-called military training maneuvers in the vicinity of Lugou Bridge, and demanded entry to the nearby town of Wanping to search for a missing soldier, which was refused by the Chinese side.

Later, Japanese soldiers besieged Wanping and launched an attack. The Chinese regimental commander Ji Xingwen led the Chinese defenses.

The incident led directly to Japan’s full-scale invasion, with Beiping (former name of Beijing), Tianjin and other northern cities being occupied at the end of July 1937.

After the incident, the Communist Party of China called on the people to fight the Japanese, which was echoed by Chiang Kai-shek, the Kuomintang leader.

China will hold national memorial activities on Sept. 3 each year to mark “Victory Day,” the day after the Japanese government officially surrendered on Sept. 2, 1945.

In February this year, the day was designated through legislative procedures as the Victory Day of the Chinese People’s War of Resistance Against Japanese Aggression.







>>  Interview: China, U.S. should “cross river by feeling stones”: ex-Australian PM

By Li Lina and Sun Shilian

Chinese President Xi Jinping has proposed a wise notion to build a new type of major-country relations between his country and the United States, says former Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd.

Now the focus needs to be placed on operational ways to fulfill the vision, Rudd told Xinhua in a recent exclusive interview here over the weekend on the sidelines of the International Financial Forum (IFF) 2014 Leadership Dialogue.

The political veteran, who twice served as Australian prime minister, said he has noticed increasing tensions between China and the United States in recent months over South and East China Seas, trade and cyber security, among other matters.

But there are also positive areas where the two countries can expand cooperation, including the world economy and the stability of financial markets, stressed Rudd, now a Harvard University senior fellow and co-chairman of the IFF, a Beijing-based non-profit international organization.

Rudd said he supports the idea of forging a new type of major-country relations between China and the United States because it is based on mutual respect, mutual interests and a common commitment to sustained global prosperity.

“I agree with the concept, but personally, the key challenge is how to turn the concept into reality,” Rudd said.

In order to do that, the two countries should “cross the river by feeling the stones,” the fluent Chinese Mandarin speaker said, citing a famous quote from former Chinese leader Deng Xiaoping.

Deng’s strategy, which was used to navigate China’s reform and opening-up to the outside world, can also be applied in the realm of diplomacy, especially the China-U.S. relationship, added Rudd.

“I’m examining areas where the two countries can work quite closely together,” he said, referring to his research project at Harvard, which he said is aimed at helping both sides find the “stones.”

He suggested that the two countries work more closely to build “global public products,” such as international rules in the fields of economy, trade and security.

“It’s far better we have a set of rules. … Nobody wants chaos,” he said. “We welcome China’s voice on structuring rules in the future in areas we don’t have rules on at present, like in cyber security.”

He also firmly rejected the fabrication that China is a threat to the world, saying “I don’t believe in anything called a ‘China threat’.”

As for the Chinese economy, Rudd said positive adjustments and healthier development will give the lie to allegations that the world’s second largest economy is going to collapse tomorrow.

“I have analyzed China’s economy for 30 years. … I don’t believe” those doomsayers, Rudd said.

He said he believes that China’s slower growth, with the pace having decreased from double digits over the past 30 years to about 7 percent to 8 percent, means a healthier model of development.

“It’s normal for all countries that have gone through the development cycle to shift from ‘fast growth’ to ‘remarkable growth’,” he said.

“The good thing about ‘remarkable growth’ is that it still can enhance living standards, while providing the opportunity for more balanced growth, including in areas such as the environment,” he added.

“China is now the world’s largest trade country, and this is good for the world as well,” he said.








>>  ASEAN, China agree to negotiate on upgrading FTA

ASEAN and China agreed to negotiate on upgrading the ASEAN-China Free Trade Area (ACFTA) Tuesday to ensure that the ACFTA remained dynamic and commercially relevant, said a joint statement of the 13th AEM-MOFCOM Consultations.

The Consultations held in Nay Pyi Taw as part of the series of related meetings of the 46th ASEAN Economic Ministers Meeting (AEM) .

The ministers noted that the agreement to upgrade the ACFTA was a testament to the strong positive relationships between ASEAN and China and deepened the economic cooperation of both sides in a mutually beneficial manner.

The ministers also urged to expedite the conclusion of the Custom Procedures and Trade Facilitation (CPTF) negotiation and the review of the Sensitive Track and Rules of Origin and to report progress made to the next AEM-MOFCOM consultations.

The ministers exchanged view on how to further promote China- ASEAN Connectivity cooperation in the future, according to the statement.

China maintained its position as ASEAN’s largest trading partner. According to the joint statement, ASEAN’s total trade with China reached 350.5 billion U.S. dollars, accounting for 14 percent of ASEAN’s total trade and representing an increase of 7.7 percent year on year by the end of 2013.

In 2013, ASEAN received 8.6 billion U.S. dollars’ foreign direct investment (FDI) inflow from China, a significant 60.8 percent increase year on year and taking up 7.1 percent of total inflow to ASEAN.

The ministers reaffirmed ASEAN’s and China’s commitment to achieving the joint trade volume target to 500 billion U.S. dollars by the end of 2015.

The ministers welcome China’s initiatives to establish an Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) to provide financial support to regional infrastructure projects with priority on ASEAN connectivity.

The AEM-MOFCOM consultations were co-chaired by Dr. Kan Zaw, Myanmar Minister of National Planning and Economic Development and Gao Hucheng, Minister of Commerce of China.

Gao highlighted in his speech that the year 2014 is the opening year of the second decade of the establishment of China-ASEAN Strategic Partnership. Along with the speeding up of the ACFTA building process, China and ASEAN have made rich achievements in economic and trade cooperation, becoming a bright spot of the overall China-ASEAN relations.

Gao made a four-point proposals at the consultations to expand China’s cooperation with the ASEAN on mutually beneficial basis. The proposals include jointly building the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road, further raising the facilitation level of bilateral trade and investment, expedition of infrastructural construction of connectivity and enhancing cooperation in regional economic integration.

ACFTA, established in January 1, 2010, covers a population of 1. 8 billion approaching a gross domestic product of 6 trillion U.S. dollars with trade reaching 4.5 trillion U.S. dollars and represents the biggest FTA made up of developing countries in the world.

Myanmar is rotating chair of the 10-member Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) this year, which comprises Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam.








>>  ASEAN+3 countries maintain trade, investment momentum

despite challenges: joint statement

Trade and investment activities among ASEAN and the Plus Three Countries, namely China, Japan and South Korea, have maintained momentum despite challenges deriving from global economic uncertainties, said ASEAN+3 economic ministers in a joint media statement here Tuesday.

The joint statement was issued following the 17th Consultations between the ASEAN Economic Ministers (AEM) and Economic Ministers of China, Japan and South Korea held as part of a series of related meetings of the 46th AEM.

The ASEAN+3 economic ministers noted that in 2013, ASEAN’s total trade with the Plus Three Countries registered an increase of 1.8 percent year on year, amounting to 726.4 billion U.S. dollars and accounting for 28.9 percent of ASEAN’s total trade.

Though ASEAN’s imports from the three countries grew by 2.1 percent year on year in 2013, the rate has moderated from 11.2 percent in the previous year, the statement said, adding that ASEAN’s exports to the three countries grew by 1.5 percent year on year.

Total foreign direct investment (FDI) flowing into ASEAN from the Plus Three Countries reached 56 billion U.S. dollars last year, accounting for 46.1 percent of the total and representing a 9.4 percent increase from the previous year, according to the statement.

Noting the outcomes of the review and assessment of the East Asia Vision Group II’s recommendations relating to the economic pillar, the ministers agreed that closer coordination and stronger synergy among ASEAN Plus Three Countries are important in promoting intra-regional economic development.

The ministers anticipated that the final report of the review and assessment of the East Asia Vision Group II’s recommendations would be submitted to the ASEAN Plus Three Summit in November 2015.

They also acknowledged the importance of further improving efficiency of power generation including higher efficiency coal- fired power generation as pragmatic measure in addressing climate change.

Welcoming the increased utilization of the ASEAN-China Center, ASEAN-Japan Center and ASEAN-Korea Center’s services by local businesses to obtain information on doing business and explore business opportunities in ASEAN, the ministers noted the capacity building activities undertaken by the centers for small and medium enterprises, urging the centers to establish linkages with relevant regional business organizations, such as the East Asia Business Council (EABC) and ASEAN Business Advisory Council (ABAC).

On EABC’s report to the ministers about its activities as well as recommendations to further encourage trade and investment in East Asia, the ministers underscored the role of businesses as drivers of economic growth in the region and commended the initiatives undertaken by the Council.

The 17th ASEAN+3 economic ministers’ consultations were co- chaired by Dr. Kan Zaw, Myanmar minister for national planning and economic development, Gao Hucheng, minister of commerce of China, Toshimitsu Motegi, minister for economy, trade and industry of Japan and Yoon Sang-jick, minister of trade, industry and energy of South Korea.

The 46th AEM and related meetings began on Monday in Nay Pyi Taw and will last until Thursday.








>>  China, Turkmenistan to expand practical cooperation

By Liu Dongkai

China and Turkmenistan are set to further expand practical cooperation as Chinese Vice Premier Zhang Gaoli arrived here Tuesday to give a fresh boost to bilateral relations.

During his stay, Zhang will meet with President Gurbanguly Berdymukhamedov, and co-chair with Deputy Prime Minister Baymyrat Hojamuhammedov the third meeting of the Chinese-Turkmen cooperation committee.

The two sides are expected to discuss a wide range of issues, including trade, energy, infrastructure and development of the Silk Road Economic Belt, an initiative proposed by Chinese President Xi Jinping.

Zhang’s trip to the Central Asian country is yet another high-level contact between China and Turkmenistan after the presidents of the two countries exchanged visits in less than one year.

During Xi’s visit to Turkmenistan in September last year, he and Berdymukhamedov jointly put into production a natural gas field that had been developed by a Chinese oil company.

When Berdymukhamedov visited China in May, the two countries signed cooperation documents on a wide range of areas.

Over recent years, China has been the top trading partner of Turkmenistan, while the latter is a major source of China’s natural gas imports.

Chinese Ambassador to Turkmenistan Xiao Qinghua said in an interview with local media that bilateral cooperation has been growing in leaps and frogs over the past few years.

Two-way trade topped 10 billion U.S. dollars last year, compared to the 4.5 million dollars when the two countries established official relations in 1992.

China, Xiao added, is ready to further expand bilateral economic cooperation into new areas, including oil and natural gas processing, energy equipment manufacturing, agriculture and animal husbandry, telecommunications, high technology and transport.

Frequent high-level contact and fruitful cooperation have helped put bilateral relations on a fast track. In 2013 China became the first country to establish a strategic partnership with Turkmenistan.

Turkmenistan is the first leg of Zhang’s three-nation tour, which will also take him to the Czech Republic and Russia.








>>  Embedded local agents to crack China outbound market: TA

By Christian Edwards

Australian tourism continues to press hard on its high-risk, high-yield embedded agent strategy that officials hope can harness the power of the outbound Chinese travel market – the jewel in the global travel sector -announcing, Tuesday, the first rollout of China-based travel agents.

Tourism Australia has banked on isolating an elite selection of China-based travel agencies to spearhead a new, high-yield distribution network focused upon selling high quality Australian holiday packages to China’s rapidly growing middle classes.

According to TA officials, a total of 31 specialist agents will represent the vanguard of a Key Distribution Partners (KDP) program.

A program that initially drives travelers from primarily ‘Tier 1′ cities (Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou and Shenzhen), followed by a selection of ‘Tier 2′ cities, including Nanjing, Hangzhou, Qingdao, Chengdu and Chongqing.

Tourism Australia Managing Director, John O’Sullivan, said the new program formed a core component of its China strategy towards attracting more independent, higher spending Chinese visitors seeking higher quality visitor experiences.

“The vast majority of international travel out of China is still booked through travel agencies, and under this program we believe we’ve identified the best of the best, who have the commitment and capability to help us engage with this new breed of more sophisticated Chinese traveler seeking to build a much richer and higher quality holiday experience,” Mr O’Sullivan said.

“The agents we have selected already have a solid understanding of the Australian tourism market, as well as established relationships with exactly the type of high yield consumer we want to engage with as part of our Chinese marketing activities.”

The program, will drive joint marketing activities while also allowing agents to independently develop new and innovative Australian tourism products which will appeal to higher yield Chinese travelers.

Mr. O’Sullivan said Tourism Australia would be encouraging Australian tourism operators with similarly aligned target segments to support the KDP program.

“We firmly believe that those Australian tourism businesses who engage most strongly with our preferred Chinese distribution partners will reap the greatest benefits from the program.”

O’Sullivan says the feedback from other markets such as Singapore featuring similar distribution programs, has been very positive.

Tourism consultant, Andrea Plawutsky, Director of Amplify Me said Australian tourism operators must become truly China savvy if they are to attract the key China market to the industry.

Based in China for seven years and fluent in mandarin, Plawutsky is in a good position to know what makes these tourists tick.

She said, “Chinese born after the 1980s that are more worldly now; there is an the emerging middle class seeking more adventure, activities and experiences.”

The new TA agent distribution strategy will reportedly be supported by increased advertising spending, with all eyes in the Australian industry focused squarely on nurturing the Chinese traveler.

New and innovative itineraries and programs, designed to meet the needs of Australia’s target market in China, will also be developed and promoted by Tourism Australia, including through its China website, www.australia.

China is Australia’s fastest growing and most valuable inbound tourism market, with around 760,000 Chinese visitor arrivals spending more than 5 billion Australian dollars (4.6 billion U.S. dollars) in the past 12 months.

Figures recently released by Tourism Australia suggest that annual spending by Chinese visitors to Australia could rise to 13 billion Australian dollars (11.2 billion U.S. dollars) by 2020.








>>  Chinese developer to visit Nepal for West Seti Project

By Ashok Thapa

A high level team from China is coming to the Himalayan country in the end this month to discuss on the construction of much talked about West Seti Hydel Project, Nepali officials said on Tuesday.

CWE Investment, a subsidiary of the China Three Gorges Corporation, one of China’s and also the world’s largest hydropower developers, is developing the 750 MW West Seti Hydro Project in power-hungry Nepal.

Earlier, over the last weekend, Lu Chan, vice president of CWE Investment had sent a letter to Investment Board of Nepal (IBN), the agency mandated with facilitating development of hydropower projects of more than 500 MW.

“In the letter, Dr. Chan had said that a team from CWE Investment will come here on Aug. 31 to discuss on initiating the West Seti Project which is very much crucial for Nepal to curb the existing power crisis, at the earliest,” chief executive officer of IBN, Radhesh Pant told Xinhua by phone.

Even though Chinese investors are constructing more than half dozens of hydro projects in Nepal, the construction of West Seti will be the largest venture initiated by any foreign investors in energy sector.

According to a memorandum of understanding signed by the Nepal government and CWE Investment in August, 2012, the 1.6 billion U.S. dollars worth project would be completed by 2019.

However, due to the several factors and a lack of communication, the construction of the ambitious project has not been initiated so far.

“After a change in the board of CWE Investment, the dialogues between Nepal and the developer had not been held since so long,” said Pant, adding that “the letter from the company has given us hope that the company is really committed to undertake the project. ”

Pant also said that in his letter, vice president Chan has also proposed to form a joint company having representatives both from Nepal and China to begin foundational works for the construction of the project.

The Exim Bank of China has already agreed to offer soft and commercial loans worth 1.6 billion U.S. dollars for the construction of the project.

The agreement between the IBN and CWE has ensured 10 percent equity to the local population in the Nepal’s far west where the project will be located, allocation of 150 MW of electricity from the project to the region and multi-purpose benefits from the project to the maximum extent economically possible.

The government of Nepal has enlisted West Seti as a top priority and national pride project.








>>  China, Nepal jointly launch international pre-paid card for Nepalese consumers

By Zhou Shengping

China and Nepal on Tuesday jointly launched here the U.S. dollar-denominated International UnionPay pre-paid card, which can be accepted in over 140 countries.

Himalayan Bank Limited (HBL), a leading private commercial bank established in 1993 in Nepal, said it is the first time for the country to introduce such a pre-paid card for Nepalese citizens for international payments.

The bank has clinched strategic partner with UnionPay International (UPI), a subsidiary of China’s national bankcard association UnionPay, which enjoys partnerships with over 300 organizations globally and has enabled card acceptance in over 140 countries with its card issued in more than 30 countries.

David Lee, chief cooperation officer of UnionPay International and Ashoke JB Rana, chief executive officer (CEO) of HBL, jointly launched the product with the presence of Chinese Ambassador to Nepal, Wu Chuntai, and some high-level government officials of Nepal.

According to the HBL officials, the HBL-UnionPay International pre-paid card is most useful for Nepalese who travel to China for purposes including business, education, sight-seeing and medical, among others. They said any merchant in China who is equipped with a point-of-sale terminal will accept UnionPay.

“UnionPay is committed to bring secure, convenient and innovative solutions to partners, merchants and cardholders,” Lee said when addressing the launch, “The collaboration between UnionPay and HBL is a testament to the collaborative approach adopted by the UnionPay to bring innovative products to meet market needs.”

Rana of HBL said the launch of UnionPay’s pre-paid card is a very important milestone in establishing more effective and secure cross boarder payment services with China and other countries.








>>  Senior CPC official meets Vietnam’s special envoy

By Bai Jie

Wang Jiarui, a senior official with the Communist Party of China (CPC), on Tuesday met with Le Hong Anh, special envoy of Nguyen Phu Trong, general secretary of the Communist Party of Vietnam Central Committee.

Le Hong Anh, a Politburo member and standing secretary of the Secretariat of the Communist Party of Vietnam Central Committee, is visiting Beijing from Tuesday to Wednesday.

Wang is vice chairman of the National Committee of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC) and head of the International Department of the CPC Central Committee.

The special envoy’s China visit aimed at discussing measures “to cool down the situation and prevent tensions between the two countries from happening again,” Le Hai Binh, spokesperson of Vietnam’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, said Monday.








>>  China remains major market for Vietnamese farm products

China remained one of the major markets of Vietnam’s farm products in the first seven months of 2014.

According to statistics from the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD) on Tuesday, China remained the top market of Vietnamese rubber, rice, fruits and vegetable as well as cassava during the seven-month period.

In the period, Vietnam sold some 1.78 million tons of cassava and products to China to earn a revenue of nearly 560 million U.S. dollars, a decrease of 4.32 percent in volume and 5.62 percent in value year on year.

China accounted for 84.95 percent of Vietnam’s cassava export market, said the ministry.

At the same time, Vietnam exported some 182,395 tons of rubber to China, earning nearly 321.2 million U.S. dollars, a decrease of 21.01 percent in volume and 40.25 percent in value.

Exports to China took a 39.03 percent share of Vietnamese rubber export market, said the ministry.

Additionally, China imported some 1.47 million tons of rice from Vietnam, worth 631.5 million U.S. dollars, up 1.05 percent in volume and 5.17 percent in value, remaining the largest consumer of Vietnamese rice with a 36.18 percent market share.

Meanwhile, around 30.43 percent of Vietnam’s exported fruits and vegetables were sold to China with revenue of nearly 258.9 million U.S. dollars, up 53.72 percent year on year.

Besides, China made up 15.69 percent of Vietnam’s cashew nut exports, 14.38 percent of wood and wood products, 9.07 percent of tea and 6.04 percent of seafood, said the MARD.








>>  2 kidnapped workers released in eastern Turkey

Two workers kidnapped by the members of the banned Kurdish Workers’ Party (PKK) were released in Bingol province in eastern Turkey, private Dogan news agency reported on Tuesday.

A group of PKK rebels on Friday attacked a railway construction site operated by a private firm in Genc town of Bingol province, set fire on two business machines and snatched the two workers, according to the report.

The PKK rebels released the two kidnapped workers in the rural area of Bingol’s Genc town on Monday, said the report. The Turkish authorities started peace negotiations with the PKK in October 2012, which led to a ceasefire in March 2013, and PKK fighters started to return to their strongholds in northern Iraq in May 2013.

The PKK, which has been listed as a terrorist group by Turkey and some other countries, took up arms in 1984 in an attempt to create an ethnic homeland for the Kurds in southeastern Turkey. Since then, more than 40,000 people have been killed in conflicts involving the group.








>>  First Chinese tram for Africa completed

By Yao Shi and Wang Ruoyao

The first of 41 trams for Ethiopia rolled off the production line on Tuesday in Changchun City, northeast China’s Jilin Province.

The tram will be put into service in Ethiopia’s capital Addis Ababa where commuters only have a choice of buses or taxis at the moment, said Liu Gang, a manager with China CNR Changchun Railway Vehicles Co..

“We’re bringing about 50 Ethiopian drivers and maintenance workers here for training next month,” said Liu.

With a maximum speed of 70km per hour, the white and green vehicle is designed to be impervious to ultraviolet light, since Addis Ababa has an altitude of 2,400 meters and the sun is exceptionally strong. Its windows block 90 percent of ultraviolet rays.

Outside South Africa, Africa’s urban rail transport networks are still in their infancy, providing immense opportunities for Chinese manufacturers. Light railways and tramcars are used in Algeria, Egypt, Morocco and Tunisia. Only Cairo and Algiers have a subway systems.

Some African countries, such as Kenya, Nigeria and Zimbabwe, have plans to develop urban rail transport services.








>>  Chinese state councilor to visit Singapore

By Yang Yijun

Invited by the Singapore government, Chinese State Councilor Yang Jiechi will pay an official visit to Singapore from Thursday to Saturday.

Foreign Ministry spokesman Hong Lei made the announcement on Tuesday.









>>  Senior CPC official meets Ecuadorian politicians

By Yang Yijun

Senior Communist Party of China (CPC) official Liu Qibao on Tuesday met with a delegation of Ecuador’s ruling Alianza PAIS Movement headed by executive secretary Doris Soliz.

Hailing smooth development of China-Ecuador relations, Liu, a member of the Political Bureau of the CPC Central Committee, said the two sides enjoy a high degree of mutual trust and close high-level exchanges.

Liu, also head of the Publicity Department of the CPC Central Committee, said the CPC is willing to further enhance communication and cooperation with the Alianza PAIS Movement.

He called on both sides to learn from each other on party building and state governance so as to push forward party-to-party and country-to-country ties.

Soliz said the Alianza PAIS Movement wishes to learn from China’s experiences in reform and opening up as well as party building in order to promote Ecuador-China political and economic relations.








>>  Taiwan, Shanghai seek more FTZ cooperation

By Han Miao, Du Bin and Chen Jianxing

Taiwan and Shanghai should forge a win-win cooperation through sharing experience on free trade zones, participants at a cross-Strait forum in Taipei said Tuesday.

The China (Shanghai) Free Trade Zone (FTZ), which began operating last September, is a 28.78-square-km district billed as a test bed for deepening market-oriented reforms and boosting economic vitality.

Taiwan also launched the first phase of its free economic pilot zones (FEPZ) in 2013. However, the progress has been dragged down by the opposition’ s filibuster for legislation.

Despite the status quo of the island’ s FEPZ, officials and economists attending the forum all agreed that the two free trade zones should seek more cooperations to boost the economic developments of both the Chinese mainland and Taiwan.

Ma Shaw-chang, deputy chairman of Straits Exchange Foundation, said the FTZ and the FEPZ shared similarities as they both focused on policy deregulation, institutional innovation and environment protection.

If the two zones can work together, both the Chinese mainland and Taiwan can gain competitive edges in the global market, with more opportunities for economic growth, said Jiang Liang, deputy chairman of Shanghai People’ s Political Consultative Committee.

“Taiwanese business people have shown great enthusiasm and interest in the FTZ,” said Zhu Min, deputy director of the zone.

According to official statistics, 131 Taiwanese enterprises from sectors of cultural creativity, health care, finance and electronics, have been stationed in the FTZ, with total investment hitting 216 million U.S. Dollars.

In the future, the FTZ and the FEPZ can learn from each other, Zhu added. “The mainland can absorb Taiwan’s experience in business management. Meanwhile, the two sides can facilitate free flows of factors of production in a number of sectors such as traditional Chinese medication, cultural creativity and finance.”

Jiann-Chyuan Wang, senior researcher with the Taiwan-based Chung-Hua Institution for Economic Research, agreed with Zhu. “Close ties between the FTZ and the FEPZ will inject new momentum in Taiwan’s economy, while Taiwan can give the mainland some insights in boosting its service sector and improving its business managing policies,” Wang said.








>>  Guide to Xi’s remarks on military issues published

By Ren Ke

A guide book designed to help understand President Xi Jinping’s remarks on national defense and army building has been published, according to military sources.

The book, covering 10 sections, expounded on Xi’s strategic thinking and theories concerning military issues. Xi is also chairman of the Central Military Commission.

The General Political Department of the People’s Liberation Army (PLA), which organized the compiling of the book, has issued a circular, urging all officers and soldiers to study the book.

The department said learning the book should be viewed as a key part of the military’s political studies. They hope the guide will help servicemen correctly understand Xi’s views in military construction.








>>  China reports no cases of Ebola

By Liu Lu and Mou Xu

China’s health authorities confirmed on Tuesday of August 26 that a returnee who was hospitalized as “an observation case of Ebola” has been confirmed not infected.

The National Health and Family Planning Commission told Xinhua the returnee, a translator who arrived in Beijing on Sunday from Libya, developed symptoms of vomiting and fever, and was sent to the hospital as a precaution.

The patient has since been cleared as not infected with Ebola. China currently reports no case of the disease.

According to the commission, people whose body temperature exceeds 37.3 degree centigrade and have had contact with patients or animals with Ebola symptoms in affected areas within 21 days should be isolated and treated early.

The commission, together with the Ministry of Public Security, the General Administration of Customs, the General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine, the Civil Aviation Administration and State Administration of Traditional Chinese Medicine, have set up five supervision groups.

They have been sent to Beijing, Shanghai and provinces of Jiangsu, Zhejiang, and Guangdong to carry out supervision and inspection in key areas for precaution.








>>  New Chinese nuclear plant to open in 2016

By Lü qiuping and Lü Fumiing

A nuclear power plant in east China’s Shandong Province is expected to go into operation in 2016, the local power company said on Tuesday.

The conventional islands of the project’s first stage, located in the city of Haiyang, are being installed and are expected to be put into use in two years, according to Yantai State Grid Corporation. A conventional island contains equipment which changes steam heat into electricity.

The Haiyang Nuclear Station, with a total investment of 80 billion yuan (13 billion U.S. dollars), will eventually have six reactor units.

The first stage includes two AP1000 reactor units with power capacity of 1.25 million KW each. The plan for the second stage includes another two units of the same capacity.








>>  China extends assistance for Three Gorges Project regions

By Zhu Shaobin

The State Council, China’s cabinet, announced on Tuesday that national economic assistance for regions affected by the Three Gorges Project will be extended for the 2014-2020 period.

According to the plan passed by the government, the country will enhance assistance for employment and economic development in more than 20 counties in Chongqing Municipality and Hubei Province.

The core purpose of the assistance is to improve the developmental capabilities of the regions affected by the Three Gorges project, according to the plan.

Assistance should be targeted at boosting local regions’ competitive sectors, supporting relocated communities, alleviating rural poverty, enhancing public services, job training, and ecological protection, according to the plan.

Five areas will be prioritized in assisting the regions during the next six years. They include industrial support for agriculture, tourism, commerce, logistics, and cooperation-based manufacturing; infrastructure in rural regions; public services such as basic education, vocational training, medicine and hygiene; job training and employment programs; and environmental protection.

The plan added that the national economic assistance policy since 1992 has helped ensure the progress of the country’s Three Gorges project, with improved local infrastructure and livelihood for residents.

The Three Gorges project is a multi-functional water control system consisting of a 2,309-meter-long, 185-meter-high dam, a five-tier ship lock and 26 hydropower generators.

The construction plan was passed by the National People’s Congress (NPC), China’s top legislature, in April 1992. Construction on the project, which cost over 200 billion yuan (32.4 billion U.S. dollars), began on December 14, 1994. Some 1.3 million people have been relocated to make way for the project.

After nine years of construction, the dam’s first generator went into operation in July 2003. The last generator started operations in July last year. The Three Gorges hydro-power project had generated 712 billion kilowatt-hours of electricity by the end of 2013.








>>  PSA-Dongfeng’s fourth China plant approved

By Cao Kai and Lü Qingfu

Dongfeng Peugeot Citroen Automobile Company (DPCA) Ltd., a joint venture of French carmaker PSA Peugeot Citroen and Chinese automaker Dongfeng Motor Corporation, is expected to build a fourth factory in China.

The plant, with an investment of 12.3 billion yuan (2 billion U.S. dollars) and an annual capacity of 320,000 vehicles, will be based in Chengdu, capital of southwest China’s Sichuan Province, according to the Sichuan provincial development and reform commission, which approved the project on Monday.

Construction will start later this year and the first car is scheduled to roll off the line late in 2016.

DPAC currently has three plants in Wuhan, capital of central China’s Hubei Province, with an annual production capacity of 750,000 vehicles.

Major global car manufacturers, including Toyota, Volvo and Hyundai, have set up factories in Sichuan.








>>  New flight to benefit Russian visitors to China

By Zhang Yue and Wang Ruoyao

Air China launched a new flight on Tuesday to connect China’s easternmost county of Fuyuan and Beijing, making the trip from the Russian Far East to China cheaper.

Fuyuan, located in Heilongjiang Province, is only a few dozen kilometers from Khabarovsk, the largest city in the Russian Far East. Russian tourists often fly from the city to Beijing, with tickets priced at more than 4,000 yuan (650 U.S. dollars).

“They have a more economical option now. Flying from Fuyuan to Beijing now costs less than 2,000 yuan,” said Wang Jia, deputy general manager of Fuyuan Dongji Airport.

The flight, with a stop in Harbin, Heilongjiang’s capital city, is operated by Air China using a Boeing 738. Flight CA1689 will depart every Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday from Beijing at 7:45 a.m. and arrive in Fuyuan at 11:55 a.m. The return flight, CA1690, departs at 12:45 a.m. from Fuyuan and arrives in Beijing at 4:50 p.m. on the same days.








>>  China to increase funds in development of culture industry

By Liu Lu

China’s Ministry of Culture (MOC) and Ministry of Finance (MOF) will join forces to develop specific areas of the nation’s cultural industry.

China should strengthen efforts in financial support, establishing projects and attracting a broader audience of overseas visitors to help promote key historic and cultural spots in China, a guideline issued by both departments said on Tuesday.

The country should focus on integrating Chinese culture in city construction and support the business model of “enterprise with rural households.”

China will also encourage higher education institutes, research centers and enterprises to boost cooperation with local markets, the guideline said.

Qi Shuyu, a scholar with the Chinese Academy of Governance, said the country has 4,295 relics under protection, 47 world heritage sites, and 1,219 heritage sites.

The guideline will help carry on China’s traditions in a creative way.

Qi said problems still exist for the industry, which need more innovative ideas, qualified employees, advanced production systems and more investment.

Dong Degang, an official with the MOF, said the country will encourage local financial offices to provide more funds and provide favorable policies to qualified projects.

“In development, we should not destroy historic relics and memories. We should pay high attention to protecting the original features and natural ecology,” said Sun Ruofeng, official with the MOC.








>>  Chinese sports lottery sales nearly doubled during World Cup

By Han Jie, Gao Li and Lin Jianyang

A rush by Chinese to gamble on the FIFA Brazil World Cup led to a doubling of lottery sales for two months in a row.

Sales data from July shows a jump of nearly 93 percent from a year ago to 19.8 billion yuan (3.2 billion U.S. dollars), after a year-on-year surge of 83 percent in June, the Ministry of Finance (MOF) said in a statement after the data was published Tuesday.

Outside of sporting bets, sales of welfare lottery tickets also rose 23.5 percent year on year to 17.4 billion yuan in July.

In total, China’s lottery sales last month soared 52.7 percent year on year to 37.2 billion yuan, the data showed.

For the first seven months, China’s lottery sales rose 23.9 percent year on year to 215.6 billion yuan.

Among Chinese provinces and cities, Tianjin led the upsurge in July, while Jiangsu, Shanghai, Zhejiang and Jiangxi also posted large increases, according to the MOF.








>>  Air China Half-year profit plunges 57.6 pct

By Lin Jianyang

China’s flagship carrier Air China said Tuesday its net profit slumped 57.6 percent year-on-year to 474 million yuan (77 million U.S. dollars) in the first half of 2014.

The exchange rate volatility of the Chinese yuan against the U.S. dollar was the primary factor that led to the overall decline of its first-half profit, the carrier said in a statement filed to the Shanghai stock exchange.

The airliner said it suffered a net exchange conversion loss of 721 million yuan in the first half, compared with a net gain of 1.12 billion yuan a year ago.

In the first half, business revenues rose 7.11 percent to 49.1 billion yuan, Air China said.

The company said demand in China’s domestic passenger market grew moderately in the first half. While Chinese enthusiasm for outbound travel remained high and the market for international passengers continued to be strong.

For the second half of 2014, Air China offered caution, saying the industry’s internal and external competition will remain intense, while exchange rates and oil prices remain uncertain.

On Tuesday, share prices of Air China fell 3.76 percent to close at 3.58 yuan in Shanghai and lost 1.81 percent to 4.88 HK dollars in Hong Kong.








>>  Agricultural Bank of China net profit up 12.65 pct

By Chen Wenjin, Liu Zheng and Cheng Jing

The Agricultural Bank of China, the country’s third largest lender by assets, reported Tuesday that its net profits rose 12.6 percent year on year to 104 billion yuan (16.9 billion U.S. dollars) in the first half of the year.

Its business revenue amounted to 267 billion yuan, 79 percent of which is attributable to net interest income, according to the report filed to the Shanghai Stock Exchange.

By the end of June, the lender’s asset value came in at 16 trillion yuan, an increase of 9.9 percent from the end of last year.

The bank’s non-performing loans ratio stood at 1.24 percent, 0.02 percentage point higher than the previous year.








>>  President of HK-listed China Resources Power investigated

By Lin Jianyang

The president of China Resources Power Holdings Co. is under investigation in East China’s Jiangsu Province, the company said in a statement Tuesday.

Wang Yujun, president of the Hong-Kong listed company, has had his duties temporarily suspended and was replaced by the company’s chairperson Zhou Junqing.

The blue-chip power producer is part of State-owned China Resources Holdings Co, a holding company for a group of energy, property, and consumer businesses in the Chinese mainland and Hong Kong.

China Resources Holdings Co has been involved in the country’s anti-corruption drive after former chairman Song Lin was put under investigation in April following allegations of serious violations of discipline and law.








>>  Hong Kong records 150 HIV cases in Q2

By Zhang Yashi

The Center for Health Protection (CHP) of Hong Kong on Tuesday reported a record of 150 Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) infections in the second quarter of 2014, bringing the cumulative total of reported HIV infections to 6,646 since 1984.

According to the report, 82 of the 150 HIV cases acquired the infection via homosexual or bisexual contact, 24 via heterosexual contact, two through drug injection and one case via blood or blood product transfusion outside Hong Kong. The routes of transmission of the remaining 41 cases had yet to be determined due to inadequate information. The 150 cases comprised 124 males and 26 females.

Reviewing the HIV/Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS) situation in Hong Kong at a press conference on Tuesday, Wong Ka hing, consultant of the CHP, said that sexual transmission had remained to be the major mode of HIV transmission.

Forty new cases of AIDS were reported in this quarter, bringing to 1,497 the total number of confirmed AIDS cases reported since 1985. Fifty percent were attributed to heterosexual contact and another 40 percent were related to homosexual or bisexual contact.








>>  China to host APEC tourism ministerial meeting in Macao SAR

By Qian Chunxian and Lin Jianyang

Tourism officials from across Asia will meet for the 8th Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) tourism meeting in Macao Special Administrative Region on Sept. 13.

Ministers and representatives from 21 APEC members and three observing members will attend the biennial meeting this year, Li Shihong, an official with the China National Tourism Administration, said during the announcement on Tuesday.

They will be joined by members from the World Tourism Organization and the World Travel & Tourism Council.

China holds this year’s chair for APEC, which is a forum for 21 Pacific Rim economies that seeks to promote free trade and economic cooperation.

Before the official gathering, Macao will host a seminar for the APEC Tourism Working Group, Li said.

The event was arranged ahead of the upcoming APEC summit in Beijing, which begins in November.

The tourism forum was first hosted in Seoul, the capital city of the Republic of Korea, in July 2000 .








>>  Company boom invigorates China market

By Shi Hao

A spurt of growth in new Chinese enterprises is the direct result of recent pro-business measures, an official said on Tuesday.

Zhang Mao, head of the State Administration for Industry and Commerce, said over 5.5 million new market entities, including private businesses and farming cooperatives, were registered from March to July.

Among them, about 1.6 million were commercial enterprises, up 64.5 percent from the same period of 2013, Zhang told a press conference. Nearly 95 percent of them are private companies.

“More than 10,000 enterprises were set up each day in the past five months,” he said.

Changes to business registration went into place on March 1, lifting restrictions on minimum registered capital, payment deadlines, down payment ratio and cash ratio of registered capital. Theoretically, a business can be started with just one yuan (about 16 U.S. cents).

“The reform has helped entrepreneurs and increased the momentum of economic development,” Zhang said.

Along with a lower market threshold, new disclosure rules for corporate information will take effect on October 1 to prevent unqualified companies from flooding the market. Companies will be obliged to release public annual reports on their finances and activities under the supervision of local industrial and commercial authorities.

“Easy access accompanied by strict regulation will help create a fair market for competition,” said Zhang.








>>  Chinese experts say progress in brain-computer interface study

By Li Laifang, Zhu Han and Zhang Le

Chinese scientists have made progress in brain-computer interface research after a successful experiment on an epilepsy patient.

After implanting an electrode connected to a robotic hand into the brain of a 28-year-old woman, the hand performed the three actions of the rock-paper-scissors game immediately after the patient.

This shows China’s progress in brain-machine interface, bringing new hope to patients who suffer limb motor dysfunction, said Zhang Jianmin, head of the neurology department at the second hospital affiliated to Zhejiang University.

The Chinese team began their research in 2006 and in 2012 realized actions such as grasping and pinching of a robotic limb in an experiment on a monkey.

Researchers will work to improve the accuracy of the action of robotic limbs, said Zhang.








>>  Two Chinese carmaker executives under investigation

By Liu Tong

Prosecutors in northeast China’s Jilin Province have placed two senior executives of a joint venture carmaker under investigation, said China’s top disciplinary watchdog on Tuesday.

The news was revealed in a statement from the the Central Commission for Discipline Inspection of the Communist Party of China, although it did not specify what crimes they are suspected to have committed.

Li Wu, former deputy general manager of FAW-Volkswagen Automobile Co. Ltd. in Changchun of northeast China’s Jilin Province, and Zhou Chun, deputy general manager of the carmaker’s Audi sales department, are being investigated for suspected “serious violations of laws,” said the commission.

Li is also the former general manager of the FAW-Volkswagen’s sales department.

FAW-Volkswagen Automobile Co. Ltd. is a joint venture between FAW Group Corporation, one of China’s largest state-owned carmakers, and Volkswagen.

The statement said the probe was launched after “problems and clues” were found by an inspection team dispatched to FAW Group Corporation.








>>  Chinese law enforcers probed for graft

By Cheng Zhuo

Chinese prosecutors have launched separate investigations into four former law enforcers suspected of corruption, the country’s Supreme People’s Procuratorate (SPP) announced on Tuesday.

The four suspects are Sun Hai, former deputy chief of the provincial prison administration in Hebei; Liu Xianming, formerly chief of police in Ceheng County of Guizhou; Wu Jianming, a former judge in Nancheng County of Jiangxi; and Lin An, a former prosecutor stationed at a local prison in Inner Mongolia.

Sun, Wu and Lin are suspected of taking bribes, and Liu of releasing people from detention without authorization.

Also on Tuesday, the SPP said another judiciary worker, Yang Moulin, formerly president of an intermediate court in the city of Xuancheng of Anhui, has been prosecuted.

Local prosecutors accused Yang of taking advantage of his position and embezzling public funds.

Yang is also charged with requesting and accepting money and gifts from people in exchange for seeking benefits for them, according to the SPP.








>>  Coal giants axe output amid prolonged malaise

By Yao Yuan, Liang Xiaofei and Lü Xiaoyu

Winter for China’s coal mine industry may be longer and more severe than expected as a third coal mine behemoth announced plans on Monday to reduce production amid plunging prices.

The Datong Coal Mine Group, based in coal-rich Shanxi Province in north China, said it would cut coal production and sales by 10 million tonnes for the second half of the year.

It followed similar announcements by China National Coal Group and Shenhua Group last month, seen as efforts to rescue a market troubled by continuous price drops.

Many Chinese coal producers have been struggling with falling prices since 2012. Prices for coal used in power generation, the country’s benchmark, had fallen from 610 yuan per tonne at the beginning of the year to 479 as of Aug. 20.

“We haven’t felt the bottom, nor do we see hopes for recovery,” said Cao Man, whose coal mine in Shanxi has reported losses since last year.

“Previous price downturns occurred when China was in the midst of fast-track economic growth, so they were followed by new rounds of price rises, but this time things are different,” Cao said.

Observers believe the latest coal price drop may continue for three years or even longer, largely due to China’s slower economic growth and the industry’s excess capacity.

According to official statistics, China’s industrial electricity consumption increased by 4.6 percent between January and July, 0.7 percentage point slower year-on-year. The sluggish demand for coal, however, coincided with a surge in supply as a result of the industry’s rapid expansion over the past decade fueled by the economic takeoff.

Statistics released by the China National Coal Association (CNCA) show 70 percent of the domestic coal industry suffered losses in the first half of 2014. The bleak situation has led to shutdown or production suspension at many mines.

In response, China’s central authority last week issued a notice to curb overproduction at coal mines. Jiang Zhimin, deputy head of CNCA, said the industry has reached a consensus to reduce output by 10 percent in the second half of 2014.

But experts say output reduction alone may not lead the industry out of the current plight. China can instead use the reshuffling brought by the price slump to address many of the industry’s intrinsic problems, including low efficiency, poor environmental standards and lack of consolidation.








>>  13 dead in NW China bus-truck crash

By Zhong Qun, Jiang Weichao and Nie Jianjiang

Thirteen people were killed and 50 injured on Tuesday afternoon when a bus carrying 61 people collided head-on with a truck on a highway in northwest China’s Gansu Province.

The accident occurred at about 12:20 p.m. when the bus broke through the central partition, veered into the opposite lane and crashed into the oncoming semi-trailer truck on a highway in Guazhou County in the city of Jiuquan, the county police department said in a statement.

Eleven of the dead were passengers on the bus, including a child, and two were in the truck. Of the injured, six are in critical conditions, while the other 44 suffered minor injuries. The injured have been rushed to two hospitals.

The overloaded 55-seater bus was carrying seven children.

Pictures on Sina Weibo, the Chinese equivalent of Twitter, show the truck leaning to one side, while the front of the bus is smashed to pieces. The site of the accident was so damaged that it has been cordoned off for repair, according to local police.

The bus, owned by Xinjiang Siping Commercial Trade Co., Ltd in Urumqi, capital of the far western Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region, was en route from Miquan in Urumqi to Guyuan in Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region.

The Gansu provincial government has dispatched officials and experts to the site for rescue work. An investigation into the case is under way.








>>  Cloud seeding eases drought in NE China

By Xu Yang and Wangn Ruoyao

Moderate to heavy rains triggered by cloud seeding have helped relieve a persistent drought in northeast China’s Liaoning Province.

Much of Liaoning, which is in the midst of the most severe drought since 1951, saw rain from Saturday to Monday, according to a statement from the provincial meteorological administration.

During the period, meteorological workers dispatched planes and rockets to carry out cloud seeding, said the statement. Cloud seeding is a process to induce rain by dispersing chemicals into the air.

The efforts resulted in 360 million cubic meters of rainfall in total, with 100 million cubic meters falling in the worst-hit city of Chaoyang.

The drought has inflicted huge damage on crops and threatened local people’s livelihood in the province, where rainfall since July has been 60 percent lower than normal.

Scorching heat had affected 29.28 million mu (1.95 million hectares) of crops as of Sunday, with 7.07 million mu of crops already destroyed. Grain production in the province is expected to decline by 5 billion kg this year.

A total of 592 million yuan (96.2 million U.S. dollars) has been allocated by the provincial government in the anti-drought fight. In addition, the local government is building emergency water projects.







>>  3 injured in N China household gas explosion

By Hu Tao and Liang Xiaofei

Three residents were injured in a gas explosion in their apartment before dawn on Tuesday in north China’s Shanxi Province, said local authorities.

The gas explosion took place at around 0 a.m. in an apartment in Huaihai residential quarter of Changzhi City, burning one person and leaving two others with slight injuries, said the city’s press office.

The three injured people have been sent to hospital for medical treatment.

Initial investigation found that the gas explosion was caused by smoking in the apartment while the gas leaked.

Further investigation into the explosion is under way.









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